Recently I caved and bought myself a copy of Pokemon Y. Before I made the decision to buy it I told myself that I was all Pokemoned out and I needed a Pokebreak from the series. Prior to this purchase I played through the FireRed, Pearl, and Ruby versions of Pokemon and caught all (back then) 493 of the hard to find creatures including the illustrious God Pokemon Arceus, who I obtained through a Gamestop event. This whole journey took about 5 years and hundreds of hours to complete. I felt accomplished, but one thing was for certain...I didn't want to play any more Pokemon.
Soon after I became a Pokemon Master, the Black and White versions came out and I was tempted to see what new and exciting Pokemon awaited and what changes had been made to the game's formula. I bought a copy of White and sadly I discovered that not much did change. I did get through the game and I defeated the Elite 4, but by then I had had enough once again. I set my DS Lite down and retired as a Pokemon trainer for some time.
Fast forward back to present time and you see me holding my newly acquired Electric Blue 2DS system with a copy of Pokemon Y within in. WhY do you ask? (see what I did there?) Because Pokemon Y is the best Pokemon game I have ever played and this is coming from the guy who has played through 6 different versions of Pokemon.
So what has changed? Why do I think that every person whose ever had the slightest bit of interest in Pokemon and who currently owns a 3DS or 2DS should experience X or Y? Here's a list:
1. Completely rendered polygonal 3D graphics
That's right. No more sprites. Whenever you go into a battle or check out the status of your Pokemon, each of your beloved companions are in full polygonal 3D. This is like a portable version of Pokemon Stadium, but with the full length adventure of a Pokemon game combined into one!
2. A lot of the original 150 Pokemon are catchable and trainable right from the beginning.
In most versions of Pokemon before X & Y you were limited to the amount of original Pokemon you could find and have as part of your team until AFTER you completed the entire adventure. The same is not true for these new versions. Shortly after defeating the first gym you are given a second Pokemon by the game's professor and not just any Pokemon. You get the choice of Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle. So effectively you are getting two starter Pokemon to start your journey. That's insane! Snorlax also makes an appearance blocking a bridge within the first few hours of the game and you can catch and use that lovable glutton as part of your team! Oddish, Cubone, Abra and Machop are just a few others you can find in the very beginning of the game and train to your heart's content.
3. All Pokemon that take part in a battle will gain the same amount of experience.
Now I know what you're thinking. “But Phil, this has been the case for every Pokemon game up to now.” That is true fellow reader, but this time around instead of the experience from the fight being divided up among all the Pokemon that appeared in the battle they are all awarded the same amount as if they were the only one fighting. What?!?! So if I defeat that Onix with my Pikachu he gets 245 exp points, but if I defeat that Onix with my Pikachu, Squirtle, Rattata, Pidgey and Bulbasaur all five of them get 245 exp points? That...is...freaking...awesome. Never has leveling up been this easy or less time consuming in a Pokemon game. Even if I use my Magikarp and use a splash attack just for fun he still gets the same amount of experience as my prized Machamp who mowed the sucker wild Pokemon down. This game just keeps getting better and better.
4. Running Shoes available from the start. Roller skates and a bicycle follow shortly after.
From the very beginning of the game you have the ability to run. YES. Not even an hour in and you are blessed with roller skates which make you even faster. Go on. A few hours later you are given a bicycle for free from the bicycle shop owner without doing any side quests. It's like Nintendo and Game Freak read my mind when they were creating this game.
5. Four rivals/friends instead of one or two.
When you are receiving your starter Pokemon you are greeted by four friends; all of which aren't dicks to you (I'm looking at you Mr. Gary Oak). While a little competition is always welcome these four friends always have your back and even call you the nickname of your choice every time they meet up with you (I made it so all my friends they call me PhilMeistrFlx). One of them will even heal your Pokemon as you make it through one of the first areas; the bug forest filled with creatures that love to use poison moves on you and your low level Pokemon.
6. New Sky Battles where you can only use your flying Pokemon to fight.
That's right. There are a few trainers that you can find throughout the game that only use Flying Pokemon to battle. To be able to fight them you need Flying Pokemon of your own to take them on. This makes battling a little more interesting and my team of unstoppable six was cut to a third of its original size when I encountered this trainer. I only had two Flying Pokemon readily available to fight while she had three. One of mine was a Vivillon (similar to a Butterfree) who I had stopped training a gym ago and was lower level than all of hers. My other was my Vespiquen which luckily was strong enough to take them on. The first of her three was a flying electric Pokemon that wasn't Zapdos, which made the battle even more difficult to win. I came away with the victory thanks to my Vivillon standing in as a distraction as I healed my Vespiquen (sorry Vivillon!). Just when I thought I was destroying every trainer I encountered, the game threw me a curve ball with this Flying only Pokemon battle. The much needed variety was welcome.
7. You can customize your trainer more than you ever could.
When you first start your adventure (besides being asked if you are a boy or a girl) you are given the choice of three different trainers to choose as your own. The skin color and eye color varies, but this is truly the first time that Game Freak has accounted for people who want to play as a trainer that most resembles them. Outfits can be customized too including a hat, shirt, pants, shoes, and accessories. Using the cash you earn from winning battles you could customize your trainer in many different ways. I had to go with a green shirt and an army helmet with sunglasses on top of course.
Honestly I feel like I could go on and on about why the newest versions of Pokemon are amazing and why I like them so much, but I don't think that everyone should just take my word for it. I think they should experience it for themselves and see why my love of Pokemon has come back in full force for Pokemon X & Y. My doubts existed this was just another Pokemon game, but boy was I wrong. Do yourself and favor and buy a copy of Pokemon X or Y today. Right now. Go ahead do it!
Pokemon X & Y were released on October 12, 2013 world wide. They were developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo.